Joe Louis Walker Playing The Convent Live
The Convent, Stroud tonight makes a beautiful and gospel fused arena for Joe Louis Walker to play his stuff, his tour of England drawing to close tonight. The multiple music award winner is bringing his message of the blues to the audience in the venue and further afield, thanks to the wonderous service they provide Netgig. Joe Louis Walker is no bluesman that confirms he mixes it up as his current album Everybody Wants a Piece demonstrates. It is unsurprising that within the magnificent licks and riffs we hear homage to the British Blues revolution of the 1960’s and the myriad of greats he has played with, from Jimi Hendrix to Miles Davis, Mike Bloomfield and John Lee Hooker and the blues giants BB King and Muddy Waters. He has been there and played his guitar with passion and pride.
The band steps on the stage in front of the altar to pay homage to live music’s power and devil magic. The Drum picks up the rhythm as Joe introduces the band on bass played with the greats including Bo Diddley and Solomon Burke is Lenny Bradford. Drummer Byron Cage and laying down the rhythm organ and keys Travis Reed now a trio of sound laid down for Joe Louis who joined in with his guitar, with vocals introduced last as the groove deepens and the vibe is heating up. The Gibson sound is crystal clear and as the instruments play they are definitely not Messin’ Around this is a quartet playing tighter than tight. The business tonight is music, blues infused with roots and all that jazz. Travis moves off electric and plays The Convent’s Grand Piano as the Jazz infusion cools the licks down as the blues shuffle in with Albert Collins T-Bone Shuffle instrumental which has Joe Louis playing the Gibson into white-hot blues – he is the Satriani of the Blues with virtuoso playing. The dexterity and lightness of touch with deep tones and sharp textures are mind-blowing. A Masterclass. A change of mood with an old time foot tapping Rock n Roll song Don’t Let Go. Timing, harmonization makes every song special with its own character and beauty. Joe Louis Walker reminds me of Lucky Peterson with his relaxed fluidity and consummate professionalism mixing to entertain and delight with every note played. Now a track off his current album, Everybody Wants A Piece, One Sunny Day; he continues to dip into the album throughout the evening no hard sell just quality tracks.
Dedicated to guitarist Earl Zebedee Hooker cousin of John Lee Hooker, who played on many hits and a special slide guitar. Matching Earl is Joe Louis, slide work stingily sharp hitting the music vibrator in your spine and making hairs stand up at the back of your neck with delight. Joe Louis, making the guitar talk with crying pain then a gentle reprise to soften the hurt and anguish, leading into the spiritually up lifting, Wade In The Water from his current album. We are all wading in the delights of Joe Louis and his band tonight at The Convent. He recalls “Been a while since I played in Church but coming back now as we get back to the blues” with his own number Ain’t That Cold; the grand piano was soulful in its blues. In the inspirational In The Morning When I Rise, the guitar makes a glorious sound the beat curls around and the guitar soars up high into the Chapel as they sing ‘ I kneel Down and Pray’, the altar a perfect backdrop. The electric organ solo takes over as Joe & Lenny swing in harmony this is live music that catches deep in your solar plexus. The music has pure soul with a lightest touch of a reggae ambiance.
Into the jam add The Kinks’ You really Got Me then the riff died away and the music flowed, Joe and Lenny dancing and the piano leading the melody, music that is sassy, live and fun as they sung Too Drunk To Drive. We are definitely drunk on the glories of blues / Rock n’ Roll in the hands of the maestro that is Joe Louis Walker.
The encore is a smoking walking blues medley, Down, Down with a cheeky electric organ kick and the mesmeric, stunning virtuoso guitar from Joe Louis Walker on his Gibson. Contemporary blues at home in the vaulted Convent auditorium.
Read the Conversation with Joe Louis Walker before this show – HERE